James O. Stern
Associate Professor, Violin String Division
B.M., M.M., D.M.A., The Juilliard School
James Stern is a multi-faceted musician whose violin playing has been heard worldwide and cited by the Washington Post for “virtuosity and penetrating intelligence.” In addition he enjoys an ever-growing reputation as a violist, pianist, conductor, writer and speaker.
Stern is a member of two critically acclaimed ensembles, the Stern/Andrist Duo with his wife, Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist, and Strata, a trio in which the two of them are joined by clarinetist Nathan Williams. The duo has performed throughout the United States, Canada and China, with additional recitals in Munich and Paris, and has been on the touring rosters of both the California and the Saskatchewan Arts Councils. The trio is featured on a compact disc of new and standard repertoire on Arizona University Recordings, and has appeared in New York City under the auspices of the International Society for Contemporary Music. Strata has received enthusiastic repeat engagements at San Francisco Composers Inc (for which they were listed as one of San Francisco Classical Voice’s “highlights of 2005”), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and New York’s historic Maverick Concerts. Both ensembles have performed numerous world-premieres of music written especially for them, including world-premiere recordings for CRI and Albany records.
Stern has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and is now Associate Professor and Chair of the String Division at the University of Maryland School of Music. He has taught masterclasses throughout North America and in China, Norway and Italy, and has published numerous articles on violin pedagogy for such journals as American String Teacher.
He has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Banff and Bowdoin festivals as well as at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. From 1992 to 2001, while teaching at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, California, he performed with the Sierra Chamber Society, the Gold Coast Chamber Players, the Yerba Buena Ensemble, and at California State University at Sacramento’s Festival of the Arts, the Ralston Concert Series, Le Petit Trianon Theatre, and the Annenberg Theater Museum Concert Series, collaborating in chamber music with many of the west coast’s most renowned musicians.
Since moving to the Washington, D. C. area he has performed with the 21st Century Consort, the Contemporary Music Forum, the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Axelrod Quartet, at such venues as the Corcoran Gallery, the German and French Embassies, the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum, National Museum of American History, Renwick Gallery and American Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, the National Museum of the American Indian, Strathmore Mansion and the White House. In his frequent appearances at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland he has brought innovative programming that includes performing in multiple capacities, composing and arranging, reciting poetry and distributing pre-concert essays via the Center’s website.